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Airman donates hair to charity

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFPN) -- Senior Airman Terry Ide, from the Electronic Systems Center public affairs office here, has two choices when it comes to wearing her hair in uniform: either cut it or wear it up. For the past four years, Ide has worn her hair, more than a foot long, in a tight bun.

This changed recently when she had 14-inches of hair cut off at the base beauty shop and donated to charity. Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization, provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children across the country who suffer from long-term medical hair loss.

"I had been thinking about cutting my hair for awhile now, but being pregnant and tired all of the time gave me the final push. I was at the end of my first trimester when I cut my hair and it was a way of celebrating," she said. "My whole life is about to change anyways, why not the hair too?"

According to the Locks of Love Web site, the donated hair is used to make hairpieces for children who have lost their hair because of alopecia areata, an auto-immune condition with no known cause or cure, or those who have suffered from severe burns, radiation treatment to the brain stem or dermatological conditions that result in permanent hair loss.

"Growing up is hard enough, I can't imagine having to do it with an illness," said Ide. "My contribution might help one little kid gain more confidence and have an easier time around other children."

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